In this new series, the team at Mobius let you in on all their favourite arts venues and regular haunts from their hometowns around the UK.
First up is our Junior PR and Marketing Executive Alastair Norton, who hails from Wolverhampton, and now lives in South-West London.
1. Can you tell us about your favourite local arts venues when you were growing up?
The Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton (yes that's a pic of me at their tech desk when I was a tiny child) is the creative heart of the city, playing host to touring productions, local amateur theatre companies as well as producing in-house community work that represents the local community, all in the newly renovated 1000+ seat auditorium. They also are at the forefront of access and inclusion, offering touch tours, calming breakout spaces whilst also running weekly coffee mornings for patrons with Dementia (which have been a huge help to the community during the pandemic).
The University of Wolverhampton produced wonderful student productions at The Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton - unfortunately, the uni has recently suspended recruitment for it's performance courses. Plenty of local talent flocks to the campus for academic training, so it would be a real shame for the courses to become fully defunct.
2. And what about your favourite local culture spots now?
Now that I'm London-based, The Other Palace Studio space has become my go-to for new musical theatre showings and concert performances. The team there are also delightful, and they are genuinely committed to promoting upcoming talent in the musical theatre sector.
3. And any other local recommendations?
If you like curry, Ahmeds in Wimbledon is a must - very reasonable, very tasty. While you're in the area, The Old Frizzle (yes that's it's real name) has a great sing-along on Saturday nights, and if you ever find yourself in Wolverhampton, have a conversation with Les at The Newhampton pub. You'll be there all night, and he will challenge you to a game of bowls.